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I like to speedrun the souls series and an important piece of this is knowing the locations of story-important items. I have found quick routes to many items of importance but the one that I cannot find is the Fragrant Branch of Yore, needed to unlock the NPC blocking the shaded woods.

What is the closest and most accessible Fragrant Branch of Yore from the beginning of the game?

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These are the three that I believe are the quickest to get. I'm not a speedrunner, so I can't speak with authority about which one of these is the quickest, but it's almost certain to be one of these three.

  1. Defeat the Dragonrider in Heide's Tower of Flame to free Licia, then use her to gain access to The Huntsman's Copse. Proceed to Harvest Valley and find the branch just prior to the Mines bonfire.

  2. Find a way down into the pit in Majula, then proceed through the Grave of Saints to the Gutter. The branch is at the very end of the Gutter, right before the fog gate to the Black Gulch.

  3. Defeat the Lost Sinner in Sinner's Rise.

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  • Lost Sinner automatically gives a FBoY? Mar 20, 2014 at 18:50
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    @Mondrianaire Yes, there's a chest immediately afterwards that contains one. Mar 20, 2014 at 18:51
  • Going to Black Gulch right after Majula seems very daring. The Harvest Valley route involves beating Dragon Rider and Skeleton Lords. The Lost Sinner involves beating either (Dragonrider & Flexile Sentry) or (Last Giant & Pursuer) and the Lost Sinner. Wow. That's rough. Mar 20, 2014 at 19:09
  • In my uneducated opinion I have to say Dragonrider and Flexile Sentry are actually not too terrible. Although the Triplets might bog you down.
    – Reafexus
    Mar 20, 2014 at 19:12
  • @Reafexus I completely forgot about the Sentinels. They constantly put a damper on my plans :( This seems to come down to if your class is a better fit for the Skeleton Lords, or the Sentinels. Mar 20, 2014 at 19:38
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You can actually skip the Sentinels if you have a Pharros' Lockstone and you take the No-Man's-Warf path into the Bastille. You need to find the Antiquated key and then open it's corresponding door. This is possible from the NMW path if you jump out the window of the tower with Lycia to skip a door and get the key.

Follow the path to the end, and there will be a room with one of the Pharros' mouth things. Inserting a lockstone will reveal two illusory walls, and one leads to an elevator that takes you right to Sinner's Rise, skipping both the Sentinels and the path distance between them and the Sinner's Rise.

Sorry I can't explain it more clearly, but it's near where you acquire the Bone Staff. If you do that, than defeating the Lost Sinner might be the quicker method of obtaining the Fragrant Branch of Yore.

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The easiest one would be the gutter. you can drop down the opposite sife instead of the grave of saints entry. there is a path to gecko and swampnuts guys under bridge. no boss fights just drop n rush to end of gutter. viola branch time

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Well... the FASTEST way would be to buy one from the old hag for 12k souls...

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  • This is only valid for SotFS.
    – Mike G
    Oct 5, 2015 at 17:31

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